“A Natural High”

Well hello from WAAAAY up in Canada! I’m Nancy and I blog over at spiffykerms.com! Kelly is off for a weekend trip and I get to do my very first guest posting on a blog. At first I thought it would be pretty intimidating as Kelly’s readership is much higher than mine is. But I decided to take the reigns and go ahead and blog about… something of interest to me.

Rock Climbing! Indoor, Outdoor, and bouldering. How fun is that?

Yes, I am still afraid of heights, but not while climbing! When I first started out, my Brother was besties with one of the family members building Newfoundland’s first climbing gym. At first, I was adamant about even climbing upwards, as I couldn’t keep my hands and feet on the climbing holds. My Dad literally had to hold and push my hips into the wall so I wouldn’t “pop off” the wall.

Before I knew it, I was hooked and climbing became my hobby. The hobby quickly became a passion and I was climbing 6 and 7 days per week. Of course, any sort of exercise 6 days a week will whip you into tip top shape, especially if it’s a full body workout like climbing is. Have to say, climbers have the most awesome bodies ever.

Don’t assume that you need a lot of upper body strength when you climb. That’s not entirely true. I’m an odd climber, as I don’t have any bicep strength. My “party trick” was showing people that I could do 7 chin-ups on a door frame. I still to this day cannot do one chin-up on a regular bar. My secondary muscles in my fingers and forearms were much stronger than my primary ones – biceps.

Can you believe that women are naturally better climbers? I’m not just saying that because I am one, either. Females have a better sense of balance, and are a lot more flexible than the average male. Climbing is supposed to be graceful, and quiet. However you watch males climb a harder route, because they have huge muscles and can dynamically go up a route using just their arms. Show offs! J  Guys often are able to dyno or climb dynamically which can improve their climbing performance as doing a dyno allows the climber to bypass a more technically difficult section of the route, thereby saving their energy.

Climbing is all about balance, and technique. Honestly. That’s all it is. Don’t be intimidated by the heights either. If you go to a climbing gym, why not start out by bouldering? Bouldering is a style of climbing without a rope and is limited to very short climbs, say – on a boulder, or around the climbing gym (going length-wise back and forth). You will usually have a crash pad and a spotter behind you while you climb, so you don’t fall awkwardly and hurt yourself. Get some chalk too. Not gloves. Gloves doesn’t help with climbing, they only handicap it. Chalk dries the sweat from your hands and fingertips and helps you get a better grip on the holds.

I was even in a climbing film!

Some people even have bouldering walls set up in their basement to practice with! Always a good time dropping by for a climb.

Heading to the climbing gym each day got me out of my comfort zone. I continually met new people, while volunteering at the gym belaying (holding the rope) for birthday parties and other functions held there while people climbed.  I even dyed my hair crazy colors for climbing competitions. I made in the paper multiple times, because of this crazy hairdo I had.

I never did stop climbing throughout high school, and even when I went to College and did Graphic Design, I did everything that I could to incorporate climbing into my assignments. During our last year at school, we had to design, write, choose the paper, and design our own 56 page magazine as one of our final projects. From scratch! I, of course chose climbing (duh, what else have I been doing for the last x number of years in my life – everyone knew me as “that climber girl”). I pushed my limits with climbing. For my project I photographed friends climbing, I designed all the ads, articles, and layout. I asked people online to write articles for my magazine, and even told stories about going to the Nationals in Ontario where I now reside! The project took months to design and complete, but came out quite well.

Climbing can be so easy and a very fun activity to do! Two of my friends who met through climbing are now getting married this summer. Gals, lookin’ for a hot date? Hit up the climbing gym!

Rock Climbing has ultimately changed my life for the better, and I always thank the family who brought climbing to Newfoundland. Without climbing, I don’t know where I would be, now. Unfortunately after moving to a new province, without a climbing gym nearby I haven’t climbed as regularly and as often as I would like. I can’t volunteer myself to take 15 foot “whippers” (free falls with a rope), just to get the natural high even if it was in the climbing gym. I loved to scare myself, safely. But now, I’m lusting after a climbing gym to be built in my surrounding area.

Do you have any experiences with climbing? If you haven’t – why not? 🙂

What have you done lately to take yourself out of your comfort zone?

See you on the boulder, kids!

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33 Responses

  1. i love rock climbing! i got into just taking an orientation class at my gym….and it’s AMAZING! i hope to find a rockclimbing gym near me!

    lately – taking myself out of my comfort zone?

    running with someone that can knock out 5 minute miles.

  2. I’ve always wanted to climb because it seems fun but I have a balance problem (something with the inside of my ear, I dunno) which led a fear of heights. Not cool. I’ve done it a few times at this recreation center when I was little and I always got maybe 5 feet up and had to get down. 😛

    Something I’ve done lately… uhm. I made a blog?

  3. […] super awesome friend Kelly is gone for the weekend and asked me to guest post over at her blog! Check it out 🙂 This entry was posted in Climbing. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or […]

  4. I have always wanted to rock climb, looks like such a high! I have to also say hi from southwestern Ontario…..we are neighbours 😉

  5. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Nancy. Nancy said: I'm a guest blogger over on @runnerkelly's site! https://myhealthypassion.wordpress.com/2010/05/02/a-natural-high-2/ […]

  6. ooo very fun! rock climbing is great and its awesome to know that women are naturally better then man at it–muahah!

  7. dude ur ability to do chin ups is awesome!

  8. Climbing scares me…I’m a bit afraid of heights. The most I can do is hiking (and sometimes that’s scary!)

    • But the thrill of being scared is what makes it most enjoyable! Okay. Not really. But it’s fun, and the adrenaline from you being a bit scared, helps you. If you’re too confident, that’s when things go wrong.

  9. I’ve only climbed indoors at my college’s indoor wall…I admit, I am scared of heights and so my fear got in the way big time and I did not enjoy it as much as I probably could have!!

    Great guest post! 🙂

  10. A little known fact about me is that I was on the rock climbing team for 2 years. I’m a certified belayer!

  11. Wow Nancy. This post really makes me want to give it a try! There is an indoor climbing gym not too far from me, think that is a good place to start?

    Ummm I am *SO* jealous about the chin ups. Even if that was just your “party trick”, I would kill to be able to do half of those!!

  12. Great guest post! Climbing is a sport that we don’t hear much about, so it was really fun to read! Thanks!

  13. Thanks for this post! My college had a great indoor climbing wall and I took beginner’s rockclimbing as a 1-credit PE class!! So much fun!! The class was 3 days in a row and I could barely grip a fork by the end :). I really hope I can find a nice wall when I move in the fall because I could definitely get into doing it frequently. The prof. also taught my Exercise Physiology class so he incorporated a lot of info related to rock climbing into Exercise Phys., which was really fun and interesting.

    I’m getting way out of my comfort zone in a few days and flying to Europe by myself! (meeting someone there, but flying by myself…).

  14. Love the guest post! We have a climbing wall that hangs over the pool that I work at and I have yet to make it to the top. Someday!

  15. Another Canadian!! Great post! I realllly would like to try climbing…I need the upper body strength. I’ve also heard it’s very calming in a way because it requires concentration and awareness.

  16. I’d love to try climbing again, I did it a few times when I was at school but not since then, it’s so expensive to go to a climbing wall near my so I haven’t got back to it… It’s been on my to do list for ages though, it looks like a great fun way to build strength!

  17. I LOVE rock climbing! I wish I lived closer to a wall, so that I could join and go more often. I’d also like to take some sort of lessons because I’ve definitely maxed out with what I know from just kinda winging it.

    • No need to pay extra money for lessons! Just hang out at the gym more and ask the “regulars” how to do certain things. Or, they’ll just tell you how to do certain moves to get further on a route. Climbers are very friendly people 🙂

  18. nancy! hello…….i feel like i ran into you by accident 😉 love climbing-played with it in college but never again. always think of going to a climbing gym but have not made it yet!

  19. Love the colors, wish colors would show up in my hair like that.

  20. i totally agree! I love rock climbing, however I’ve only really been indoors. I am getting back into it, and it’s such a good workout for muscular endurance (something i am lacking)

  21. You dispelled one myth about upper body strength, hm. But I cannot do a pull-up! I’m so impressed! And I loved that hair!!

  22. […] all the sweet anniversary wishes this past weekend! I also hope you enjoyed the guests posts from Nancy and Katie. They are both pretty amazing women and I hope you enjoyed it! We had a really great time […]

  23. […] blogging on Kelly’s site yesterday, I whipped out “The Rock” bouldering in Newfoundland DVD that I […]

  24. I absolutely love rock climbing! A friend of mine and I go at least twice a week to the climbing gym. We haven’t tried outdoor yet…I’m still unsure of that!

  25. I took a rock climbing class at the community college where I work years ago and LOVED it. I live near a GREAT climbing area called Vedauwoo in southeast Wyoming. I haven’t climbed for a long time. I’ve gained some weight and am afraid I couldn’t get my fa up the wall…that’s bad….I need to get back to the climbing wall on my lunch hours and start doing it again. Loved your guest post! Thanks!

    • It doesn’t take that long to get back into the swing of things with climbing. that’s the great part. I remember taking a two year break, and it literally took me 3 weeks to get back into harder routes, and really only 2 months to gain back all those callouses and even harder climbs! Don’t give up! 🙂

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